McStrike: Highlighting Hospitality’s Poor Rights

On 12 November 2019, McStrike took place across the UK – highlighting poor working rights and standards in the hospitality industry.

Its demands are simple:

  • An end to low pay youth rates
  • £15 an hour (a real living wage)
  • Union recognition

The 4.5 million workers in the hospitality sector represent 10% of the UK’s total working population. However, until now, its workers have not traditionally organised to demand better pay and conditions.

McStrike first took place in 2017 and the following year, in 2018, riders for Deliveroo and Uber Eats joined forces with staff at McDonald’s, Wetherspoon’s and TGI Fridays – to stage coordinated strikes across the country. The 2018 Mcstrike also saw workers in two Wetherspoon’s pubs striking alongside staff from three TGI Fridays restaurants.

Striking McDonald’s worker Lauren McCourt said:

“The days of poverty pay, insecure contracts and lack of respect for workers are numbered. A living wage for all ages, security of hours, and our right to a union are the basic rights we are fighting for.”

Lauren McCourt

Matt Rouse, a striking kitchen worker at Wetherspoon’s Bright Helm pub in Brighton said he had been inspired by his co-workers to “call out injustice in our workplaces”. He added:

“We are determined to stand together and make our demands for a living wage for all, and union recognition heard. This is only the beginning, we will keep fighting for everyone, for better wages and rights for hospitality workers across the country.”

Matt Rouse

Mcstrike is the latest in a growing movement of low-paid workers, particularly in the fast-food industry, who have come together over recent years; inspired by the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign in the United States.

The 2019 McStrike once again saw coordinated action take place across the country. However, the difference with this strike compared to the two previous years was that there similar strikes, taking place on the day, across the world. From Germany to Chile, strikers campaigned for better rights using the hashtag – #FastFoodGlobal.

Fast Food Rights

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